Nabz News Review - April 17, 2015
This week in human rights in Iran
On April 5, Mostafa Tork Hamadani, lawyer of Ali Motahari, announced that Motahari’s attackers have been freed on bail and that the judiciary has summoned officials from Shiraz University. This university had organized the conference for which Motahari had traveled to Shiraz and on the way to which was attacked by plainclothesmen.
On April 6, five members of parliament issued a letter to Sadegh Larijani, head of the judiciary, in which they expressed discontent with the lack of attention to the case of Saeed Mortazavi. Although Mortazavi, the former head of the Social Security Organization, is currently free on bail of 2 billion tomans, the judiciary maintains a file on him with various criminal accusations.
On April 10, three Kurdish political activists from Mahabad were sentenced to death. A Revolutionary Court branch condemned Saber Sheikh Abdollah, Hossein Osmani, and Diyako Rasoulzadeh on the charge of “moharebeh” for planning bombings and for membership in the Kurdish party Komala. These three prisoners are currently held in Urmia Central Prison.
On April 10, HRANA announced that the trial of television producer Mostafa Azizi will take place in the month of Khordad (May-June). Azizi is accused of insulting the Supreme Leader and propaganda against the regime, and his trial will take place in Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, under the direction of Judge Salvati.
On April 16, 2 labor activists in Sanandaj were sentenced to 5 months in prison and 30 lashes for participating in a demonstration of solidarity for Kobane. The accused assert that during the gathering they were at a different meeting and have four witnesses to ascertain their claims.
After months of tension, arrests, and imprisonments, the by-law allowing women and families to attend volleyball matches was finalized. Shahindokht Molaverdi, vice president for women’s affairs, announced the news but said that the by-law is not set for implementation yet. This would allow women to watch some types of sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis, but attending boxing, swimming, and wrestling matches is still impossible for women.
On April 7, authorities in Tehran attacked Abolfazl Cheraghi, son of the street vendor who was killed in a clash with the same authorities last year. Even though many families in Tehran rely on peddling for their livelihood, the municipality has no specific regulations on this kind of work, which sometimes leads to tension between vendors and authorities.
In a note published on April 7, traditional Iranian singer Mohammad Motamedi criticized the delay in the issuance of a distribution permit for his new album, which has now been set back over six months.
Rights of minorities
Officials of Vadi-e Rahmat, a public cemetery in Tabriz, moved the corpse of a Baha’i citizen who died on March 20 to the city of Miandoab and buried him there, without the family’s permission. Over the last year and a half, the public cemetery of Tabriz has not allowed the burial of any Baha’i citizen, and in all cases, the corpses have been buried in surrounding cities without the permission or knowledge of the families.
On April 8, the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz issued sentences of exile for four Gonabadi Dervishes. With this sentence, Mohammad Ali Shamshirzan has been exiled to Bandar Abbas for life. Mohammad Ali Sadeghi, Ebrahim Bahrami, and Mohsen Esmaeili have been exiled for seven years to the cities of Maragheh, Sardasht, and Dezful, respectively.
On April 17, Minister of Justice Mostafa Pourmohammadi said that electoral laws must be clarified and made transparent in order to stop the influence of dirty money in electoral campaigning. The issue of dirty and illicit money has been a hot topic in Iranian politics for the last several months, although to date no individual or group has been charged with using such funds.